The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated Paducah, Kentucky, the world’s seventh City of Crafts and Folk Art, making the city a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, announced Paducah’s designation today (November 21, 2013) along with Enghien-les-Bains (France) and Sapporo (Japan) as UNESCO Cities of Media Arts. Paducah Mayor Gayle Kaler hosted a news conference to announce this major international designation.
“Receiving the UNESCO Creative City Designation will put Paducah in a position to share cultural assets on a global scale,” said Kaler. “Paducah is poised for cultural and economic sustainability by creating partnerships locally and with other cities.”
Paducah joins Santa Fe, Aswan, Kanazawa, Icheon, Hangzhou and Fabriano as UNESCO Cities of Crafts and Folk Arts. The Network currently includes 41 cities from all regions of the world recognized as cultural centers in the creative industry fields of Crafts and Folk Arts, Literature, Film, Music, Design, Media Arts and Gastronomy.
The Paducah Visitors Bureau pursued the application as an opportunity to showcase Paducah’s cultural pedigree, exchange know-how and develop local creative industries on a global platform. Known as Quilt City USA®, Paducah is recognized worldwide as a meccafor quilters and fiber artists.“This designation is a tremendous honor for Paducah and really the entire state and willfocus worldwide attention on the incredible cultural richness of Paducah and in turnKentucky,” said Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Bob Stewart. “Weare so proud of Paducah.”The Creative Cities Network is designed to promote the social, economic and culturaldevelopment of cities in both the developed and developing world. Launched in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network aims to develop international cooperation among citiesthat acknowledge and seek to support creativity as a strategic driver for sustainabledevelopment, through multi-stakeholder global partnerships.